[Small Chirps] Books on the January Big Screen

This month’s book-inspired set of movies sure are a violent lot – but with stories that are as intriguing as they are graphic. From LA gangsters to shotgun-toting fairy-tale characters, this month has a lot of exciting movie fare to offer.

Gangster Squad

Release Date: January 11

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/03/Gangster_Squad_Poster.jpgA cast doesn’t get much more star-studded than this. Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte and Sean Penn round out the cast of this gangster-sort-of-buddy-cop movie based on an eight-part LA Times series written by journalist Paul Lieberman, who expanded his true-life story in the book, Gangster Squad. The movie takes place in 1950s, when the streets of LA were overrun by gang wars. To combat the illegal underground, LAPD created their own gangster squad, cops where selected to work outside the law in order to bring peace back to the City of Angels.

I expect from the trailer alone that it will be a fairly violent film (how could it not be with a plot like that?), but for anyone who loves LA Noir or hardboiled detective novels like those of Dashiell Hammett, this movie should be right up your alley.

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Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Release Date: January 25

I’m a sucker for retellings of fairy tales (Hello, “Once Upon a Time”), and this Grimm Brothers’ retelling in particular seems audaciously ridiculous and fun. Hansel and Gretel, all grown up after their first encounter with a witch, are now supernatural hunters extraordinaire. When a town reports that their children are being abducted, the siblings head in to investigate, only to find that something even stronger than witches may be at play. But that’s okay, because Hansel and Gretel have magical quick-shot cross bows and shotguns. Nothing they can’t handle, right? It will also be fun to see a big screen dynamic of a brother and sister, which I can only assume will lead to plenty of witty banter and more  than a little sibling rivalry.

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Parker

Release Date: January 25 (Limited)

The Hunter (Parker, #1)Based on The Hunter by uber-crime writer Donald E. Westlake (under the pseudonym Richard Stark) , “Parker” follows the titular character as he seeks revenge on his wife and partner who shot him and left him for dead.

This marks the third adaptation of the novel, preceded by “Point Blank” (1967) starring Lee Marvin and “Payback” (1999) starring Mel Gibson. The current iteration stars Jason Statham, America’s current action star tour-de-force. I would expect it to be fairly common Statham fare: lots of action followed by even more action.

But if the story is good enough to be adapted three times, then it must be one heck of a ride!

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John Dies at the End

Release Date: January 25 (Limited)

John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1)The movie is pretty much impossible to explain. It involves drugs, hallucinations, and maybe some murder. Basically, it looks like “Memento” on crack. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. The film, based on the novel by Jason Pargin (under the pseudonym David Wong), a senior editor for the always darkly funny Cracked.com, has cult classic written all over it. And if you are super ansty to see it, you can actually see the whole movie right now (for $10) over at youtube.

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What books-made-movies are you looking forward to seeing this month?

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2 thoughts on “[Small Chirps] Books on the January Big Screen

  1. What an interesting title “John Dies at the End” is… hmmm. Can’t say anything else, haven’t seen it, or anything to do with it, as yet.
    But “Gangster Squad”… two words sell it to me… “Josh” and “Brolin”. That is all.

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